Federal STD Prevention Found Healthy by CDC
July 18, 2005
Federal government-funded STD prevention programs resulted in 32 million fewer gonorrhea cases between 1971 and 2003, CDC researchers reported at last week's 16th biennial meeting of the International Society for Sexually Transmitted Diseases Research in Amsterdam. The data shows that efforts to prevent STDs are "effective and economically sound strategies" for improving the health of the nation, said Dr. John M. Douglas Jr., CDC's director of STD prevention programs.
At the meeting, CDC unveiled research examining the impact of federal funding of STD prevention programs through state and local health departments. An estimated $5 billion in direct medical costs was saved due to reductions in cases of gonorrhea and syphilis between 1990 and 2003.
CDC also released surveillance information on chlamydia, the most common STD reported in the United States with 877,478 cases reported in 2003. About 2.2 percent of people ages 14-39 are infected with chlamydia, with men and women having about the same rates of infection. However, when data are examined by specific age groups and other characteristics, young women, low-income youths, and blacks have a high prevalence of the bacterial infection.
CDC recommends annual chlamydia screenings for all sexually active women under 25. It also advises teens to practice sexual abstinence as the "only 100 percent effective method of STD prevention."
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.